Friday, February 17, 2023
“The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven…. Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves…. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?” (John 6:41,43,61 KJV).
Behold, they have become firmer in their murmur!
To “murmur” means to grumble or complain, especially in a low tone. The Greek word translated “murmur” in today’s Scripture is “egonggudzon.” Its etymology is uncertain, but it may in fact be onomatopoeic—that is, imitating the very sound of the grumbling itself. The ancient Greeks also used the term to describe a dove’s cooing. Close your mouth and talk, perhaps sounding out the Greek word if you can. That incoherent mumbling you produced would be similar to the worthless chatter directed toward the Lord and His sermon here in John chapter 6. It was also the unwarranted, harsh criticism in Luke 5:30, “But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?”
John chapter 6 highlights the spiritual battle raging in the hearts of Christ’s audience. As the narrative unfolds, these people become increasingly quarrelsome. They desire physical food, but not spiritual food and spiritual truth (see verses 15,26,27). Also, they want to “do” (works-religion) instead of “believe on [Christ]” (verses 28,29). Having seen a miracle to confirm Jesus as Christ (verses 1-14), they ask for another one, something more impressive (verse 30). In short, they “believe not” (verse 36), for they see Him not as “the Son of God,” but simply “the son of Joseph,” a mere commoner no better than they (verse 42). Quite bluntly, Christ points out in verse 64: “But there are some of you that believe not” (verse 64). As they grow firmer in their murmur (criticism expressing ingratitude), the incident culminates with verse 66: “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
They were like their ancestors alive in Moses’ time, having access to the words of God but too hard-hearted to believe that Divine revelation. Dear friends, we also could learn a valuable lesson here….